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New HTPC Build Help

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April 21, 2013 7:15:51 AM

Hello, I am a longtime reader of the forums and really like the awesome and helpful responses I see to other posts! So I am hoping to get some advice for a new HTPC I will be building. I am replacing my old one and have a budget of up to $1,000.

I am after a fantastic looking case, something that looks high-end but is still functional. I don't have a specific look in mind yet but I picture a case that is silver or black.

That in mind this HTPC would be strictly for playing media, HD movies/shows with some 3D and all media is played over the network (with a little streaming) via NAS (Synology 1512+) so I don't need lots of room for HDDs. I would also like it to be as quiet as possible but it would run in an often un-air conditioned room so I need to avoid any possible heat issues. Other than these things there aren't any specific requirements, though I could use some suggestions for a nice remote.

Any suggestions for builds would be much appreciated! I really like reading the responses to other folks questions on these forums. Please let me know if I have forgotten to mention anything vital.

More about : htpc build

April 21, 2013 9:10:17 AM

What have you got in your old build to carry over? Or is it from scratch?
April 21, 2013 7:46:22 PM

allanitomwesh said:
What have you got in your old build to carry over? Or is it from scratch?


This project will be from scratch so I can keep the old one around as a spare.
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April 22, 2013 7:56:21 AM
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PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-4100 3.6GHz Quad-Core Processor ($69.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock 970 Extreme3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($84.98 @ Outlet PC)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($54.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($58.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 6570 1GB Video Card ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Silverstone SST-LC13B-E-USB3.0 (Black) HTPC Case ($132.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: FSP Group 400W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($74.30 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($55.43 @ NCIX US)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Other: Hauppauge Media Center Remote Control Kit w/ USB 2.0 Receiver ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Other: PowerDVD 13 Ultra ($99.95)
Total: $901.55
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-22 10:45 EDT-0400)

This build should give you all that you need in an HTPC.

-Wolf sends
April 22, 2013 10:06:49 PM

Wolfshadw said:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-4100 3.6GHz Quad-Core Processor ($69.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock 970 Extreme3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($84.98 @ Outlet PC)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($54.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($58.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 6570 1GB Video Card ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Silverstone SST-LC13B-E-USB3.0 (Black) HTPC Case ($132.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: FSP Group 400W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($74.30 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($55.43 @ NCIX US)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Other: Hauppauge Media Center Remote Control Kit w/ USB 2.0 Receiver ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Other: PowerDVD 13 Ultra ($99.95)
Total: $901.55
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-22 10:45 EDT-0400)

This build should give you all that you need in an HTPC.

-Wolf sends


Thanks for the reply Wolf, this seems like a solid build. I do have some questions though if you don't mind.

- I have only used Intel on any PC I built previously, as far as HTPCs go is AMD comparable? Or possibly better?
- In the case of the PSU would a modular model be better for airflow?
- I am planning on using XBMC for playback, does Power DVD provide any functionality that XBMC would not?
- Will I be able to use the remote to power on the HTPC?
- It occurred to me that a remote that could operate my TV and Soundbar as well as the HTPC could be handy, is there such a thing and if there is can you recommend a model that wouldn't be difficult to program?

I have been considering another case that I came across, would the Fractal Design Node 605 accommodate this build? I spent hours today looking for a great aesthetically appealing case but had little luck, as I started this project I was picturing something that looked similar to high end stereo/video equipment and maybe a little smaller but that look on a well reviewed product has proven difficult to find.

I really liked the cases by Origen AE, the H6 and the X10 particularly caught my eye but that brand in general seems to cost a fortune. If anyone can tell me about comparable models I would very much appreciate it!
April 22, 2013 10:26:43 PM

LianLi PC C37 is probably a best buy but it only takes low profile cards. The C33 is roomier but is quite fat
April 22, 2013 10:59:06 PM

allanitomwesh said:
LianLi PC C37 is probably a best buy but it only takes low profile cards. The C33 is roomier but is quite fat


That C33 is huge, reminds me of my current case (Silverstone LC17). I do like the look and lower profile of the C37 but would prefer the ports on the front to be hidden or not even included, my aim is that the end product not be immediately identifiable as a PC. Out of curiosity do these lower profile models have issues with heat?
April 23, 2013 2:39:54 AM

Well not really except maybe the afox 7850(most powerful low profile card) and as you've deduced,the lack of powerful cards in low profile is the bigger worry.
April 23, 2013 7:32:10 AM

Quote:
- I have only used Intel on any PC I built previously, as far as HTPCs go is AMD comparable? Or possibly better?

For strictly media tasks, there's really no difference between AMD or Intel. Either would be more than enough for those tasks.

Quote:
- In the case of the PSU would a modular model be better for airflow?

A modular power supply would allow for better airflow through the case.

Quote:
- I am planning on using XBMC for playback, does Power DVD provide any functionality that XBMC would not?

PowerDVD is for blu-ray playback. XBMC (or Windows Media Center) will not play blu-ray discs natively.

Quote:
- Will I be able to use the remote to power on the HTPC?

You should be able to use the remote to wake the system from sleep (google wake on USB)

Quote:
- It occurred to me that a remote that could operate my TV and Soundbar as well as the HTPC could be handy, is there such a thing and if there is can you recommend a model that wouldn't be difficult to program?

Lots of folks use their Harmony Universal Remote controls to power and control their HTPC as well as their other components.

Quote:
I have been considering another case that I came across, would the Fractal Design Node 605 accommodate this build? I spent hours today looking for a great aesthetically appealing case but had little luck, as I started this project I was picturing something that looked similar to high end stereo/video equipment and maybe a little smaller but that look on a well reviewed product has proven difficult to find.

I really liked the cases by Origen AE, the H6 and the X10 particularly caught my eye but that brand in general seems to cost a fortune. If anyone can tell me about comparable models I would very much appreciate it!


With the exception of the H6 by Origen AE, either case will house all the components I listed. The H6 will only accept a Micro-ATX motherboard.

I went with a full ATX motherboard not only to provide extra expansion slots, but to also have more room within the case for airflow; so all your cables aren't creating air blocks.

-Wolf sends
April 25, 2013 4:39:56 PM

Wolf,

Thanks for your patience in answering all these questions, I would be royally screwing this project up without your advice.

I have decided to go with the Fractal Design Node 605 case so I can avoid airflow issues. I have also been looking into a modular PSU and think I have settled on the FSP PT-450M, if you wouldn't mind confirming that it will be compatible with the case and build.

I am also wondering if you can suggest an alternate motherboard that I can use for comparison? I like the model you suggested but I keep seeing lots of reviewers having issues, predominantly with the mobo being DOA.

April 25, 2013 5:37:42 PM

One draw back with the Fractal Design Node 605 case. Based on the specifications page, it can only accept a slim-line optical disk drive and that, ONLY when using a MicroATX (or smaller) motherboard.

If you're dead set on that case (and it's ok if you are), then you would need to make a couple of changes. The original board I went with was one of the highest rated boards on PCPartPicker, regardless of DOAs. Since I have not used any of these motherboard, I have to rely on other people's ratings.

Given your selected case, I'd probably look at the following:

Motherboard: ASRock 880GM-LE FX
Blu-Ray Drive: Sony Optiarc BC-5540H 6x Blu-Ray BD-ROM

-Wolf sends

P.S. I really do love my HTPC. Tomorrow night is movie night (Resident Evil: Retribution) in 1080p on a 140" screen with 5.1 surround sound. It is honestly and truly incredible. The experience is far better (IMO) than the actual movie theater. The visuals are nearly identical (theater does have a slight advantage), the food is far better (when was the last time you have hot/spicy chicken wings at the theater) and cheaper, and the drinks are colder and cheaper (and more alcoholic).

This is why I enjoy helping people with their own set ups. Unfortunately, I no longer have any pics of my set up.
!